B.A. in Classics


Program Description

The study of our classical heritage from the Greeks and the Romans is not only exciting, it gives students the tools that will help them succeed in a wide range of future careers. Classics incorporates practically every aspect and discipline of the liberal arts tradition: history, literature, religion, philosophy, art, culture and language.

The major in Classics strives to involve students in an investigation into the foundations of Western Civilization, which are to be discovered in our Greco-Roman heritage. Without the broad perspective that a solid grounding in the origins of Western culture provides, we, as inheritors of that tradition, cannot meaningfully engage in an intelligent dialogue with other cultures and attitudes.

Unique among the liberal arts in the breadth of its historical and cultural scope, the study of Classics embraces over two millennia of history, beginning with the splendid early achievements of the Minoan-Mycenaean Age in Greece and ending with the decadence and decay of the Roman Empire, as the West moved into the Middle Ages. There is no a significant aspect of the political arts that was not experienced in antiquity.

To study the literature of the ancient world is to sit at a great banquet and taste the philosophical profundity of Plato and Aristotle, the archetypal epics of Homer and Vergil, the historical inquiries of Herodotus, Thucydides, Livy, and Tacitus, the sparkling comedies of Aristophanes, Plautus, and Terence, the sublime lyrics of Sappho and Catullus, and the eternal tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides. There is hardly a literary genre that was not first given form by the Greeks and Romans.

The remarkable achievements in ancient sculpture, painting, and architecture can be explored through the study of Greek and Roman Art and Archaeology. Greek and Roman Mythology has been perhaps the most pervasive of all influences upon the literature and art of Western Civilization. We take great pleasure in allowing students to discover for themselves how the creative, artistic, and intellectual life of the Ancients has given inspiration to and influenced our own culture.

Classics provides a solid liberal arts background and offers one of the best possible foundations for a variety of future careers.

Program Highlights

  • Opportunity to study all aspects of the classical past, including Greek and Latin literature, Greek and Roman history, philosophy, myth and religion, art, and archaeology, and of course both Latin and Greek.
  • Travel Study courses to Italy, Greece, Turkey, France and the Netherlands, to name just a few.
  • Archaeology classes taught by a field archaeologist.

Requirements for the Major (36 credits)

24 credits in Classics

Either 12 credits in Greek


12 credits in Latin

Students who plan to enter graduate study in Classics are advised to take additional courses in the second of the classical languages. For students planning an advanced degree, it is also recommended that they begin the study of French and/or German.

Skills Developed

  • Creative thinking
  • Problem-solving
  • Advanced language skills
  • Advanced writing skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Cultural literacy
  • Leadership skills
  • Presentation skills
  • Teaching methods
  • Managing complex projects
  • Communicating with confidence
  • Making informed decisions
  • Curiosity across a range of interests
  • Self-confidence to pursue any goal
  • Research skills
  • Logic argumentation
  • Persuasive presentations

Employers of our Graduates

  • Doctored Apps
  • Georgetown University
  • The Cheese Traveler
  • Durham University
  • The College of Saint Rose
  • AmeriCorps
Last updated Jan 2018

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About the School

Siena College is more than a liberal arts college, it is a learning community that prepares students for a successful life filled with compassion and drive, service and responsibility. Here, we believ ... Read More

Siena College is more than a liberal arts college, it is a learning community that prepares students for a successful life filled with compassion and drive, service and responsibility. Here, we believe that making a good living and living a good life go hand in hand. And we prove, over and over again, that an education like the one you receive at Siena comes along once in a lifetime. Welcome! Read less